Katie gets me up early every day and today I should thank her because I used her motivation to head down to Kensington, my favorite park, which is about 40 minutes south of where Katie and I live.
You’ve been on walks with me there before – would you like to come along on this one? Are you sure? It’s going to get a bit long, but there are benches strategically placed along the way in case you’d like to stop for a bit.
Speaking of benches, that was one of my photo objectives because benches is the subject of Cee’s Black & White photo challenge this week. And Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge is all about light and dark.
Plus I needed something for Trent’s weekly smile challenge.
So I headed into the woods hoping I could find beautiful things that would satisfy those three challenges. Because when you go into the woods you just never know what you’ll find…but you know you’ll always find something.
Truth be told I headed to the most remote trails first thing this morning hoping that I’d see some deer and maybe even some fawns. I got to the park at 7:30 and almost wished I’d arrived earlier, though it was hard to keep an eye out for deer when the path was so full of roots and rocks just waiting to trip me up in the dark, damp woods. I sure didn’t want to fall, so I was being extra careful.
But I did catch this doe. (6/6 edit: Let’s thank Linda for noticing that this ‘doe’ has the beginning of antlers! You can enlarge photos by clicking on them, and apparently she did! This is a he, so I’m changing all the shes and hers to hes and his) He seemed to be alone and I wondered if he had a baby or two somewhere nearby. I only got one opportunity to get his picture, then he dashed away. I liked how the light made his ears pink. I looked hard for a fawn hidden somewhere near but I didn’t see one.
Eventually the soft forest trail turned into a sort of mowed pasture path. The grass was long and wet. I stopped and tucked my pants into my socks and sprayed my ankles with deet. I’d never been on this part of the trail and I was curious what might be ahead.
Turns out the path went right by this small pond with it’s accompanying….bench.
Yes, I thought to myself, now this is the perfect bench for Cee’s Black & White challenge. I stayed there for a bit, trying different angles, but eventually the mosquitoes made me move along. Mosquitoes are like that.
After a couple of miles the trail headed back and reconnected with the more popular paths. I figured I wouldn’t see any more deer. But I was wrong.
She was busy watching another woman who was coming toward me on the path.
I edged closer.
She let me take as many photos as I wanted as long as I didn’t move fast. In fact it seemed like she was posing.
She was definitely a nursing mom, but I didn’t see a fawn hidden anywhere nearby, and she didn’t seem nervous, so maybe it was napping further away.
Continuing on I heard a rustling in a pile of last year’s oak leaves. I expected another chipmunk or squirrel, there had been dozens of them rushing around the forest floor.
Still looking for a perfect light and dark image, I noticed these ferns. Very pretty. Definitely light and dark there.
But maybe it’s not exactly right for the challenge.
Moving along, still on the lookout I noticed this perfect dandelion sitting in a puddle of sun.
But I’ve done a post about dandelions. And I was hoping to find something new.
Meanwhile I was pretty much smiling the entire walk, but these guys, grooming themselves and oblivious to me made me grin.
And the light off this opening blossom made me smile too.
But what would be the perfect light and dark image for Nancy’s photo challenge? There were so many to chose from.
In the end I loved this one. One of the first images I took at the beginning of my walk when the sun was barely up…the dew lining the edges of the leaves.
After I got out of the woods I wandered over to the boardwalk that lines the lake where a giant heron rookery lives. The baby herons are now teenagers and huge! Mom and dad herons are very busy trying to feed their demanding children. There is a whole lot of activity, and even though I had already met my objectives I couldn’t help but stop for awhile and watch the goings on.
But this is already long enough. If you want to see the craziness that was visible from the boardwalk you’ll have to wait for the next post. In fact I’m thinking about going back tomorrow morning, getting there earlier and spending more time watching the rookery and the lake that surrounds it.
Wait. What? You say you want to see the herons now? Well here’s a taste.
But there will be more. I promise. You never know what I’ll come back with!